April 30, 2015
Auf Wiedersehen, Not Goodbye Malaysia
As of tomorrow May 1, I shall be in Phnom Penh to take up my appointment as Associate Dean, Techo Sen ( Hun Sen) School of Government and International Relations, University of Cambodia. I am grateful to my colleagues at the University, especially President-Minister of State Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, for accepting a soon to be 76 year old activist, who is considered to be irrelevant in his own country, and allowing me to partake in this major assignment. I feel appreciated and shall get on with the challenging task of building this School, which bears the name of the Prime Minister of Cambodia, HE Samdec Techo Hun Sen, into an academic and research center of excellence.
Fortunately, I am not alone. Even before I board to the plane, I have been assured of collaboration with The S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, Nanyang Technological University where I will have the opportunity to work with Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Emeritus Secretary-General of ASEAN and former Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia and Ambassador Murshahid Ali, former Singapore Ambassador to Cambodia.
In Malaysia, Tan Sri Mahbob Sulaiman, Chairman, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) where I am a Associate Fellow has expressed interest in a research and consulting tie-up with the School and the University of Cambodia. Dato Dr. Paul Chan, Vice Chancellor, HELP University and his colleague, Dato Dr. Zakaria Ahmad have concrete collaboration proposals with the University of Cambodia. Upon arrival in the Cambodian capital by the Mekong, I will brief Dr. Kao on these matters.
This blog will be active as usual and I hope you will continue to support it with your comments and ideas. You have contributed a lot to making it a well visited site. According to the 2014 Annual Review by http://www.wordpress.com, it is read in 206 countries throughout the world and in 2014, it had 2.5 million visitors. It is most gratifying to have your support. I welcome your suggestions which can make this blog a home where ideas matter. So it is auf wedersehen, not goodbye Malaysia.–Din Merican